Ohio Chief Sued for $4.5 Million for Giving Narcan

An Ohio man who claims he was assaulted and given Narcan unnecessarily by a fire chief, has filed suit against the chief personally seeking $4.5 million in damages. Jordan Aulizio filed suit against Kinsman Fire Chief Cory Van Kanegan claiming his civil rights were violated.

The suit was filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio alleging violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights; assault and battery; and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The factual allegations in the complaint:

  • On or about July 7, 2023, Aluizio, who had recently been released from a hospital stay, and was dehydrated, went to a convenience store in Kinsman, Ohio to purchase something to drink the day after being released from the hospital.
  • While at that convenience store, Aluizio dozed off while standing up.
  • A person inside that convenience store, upon seeing Aluizio asleep called 911. In response to that 911 call, EMTs and Van Kanegan appeared in the parking lot of that convenience store.
  • By the time Van Kanegan and the EMTs arrived at that convenience store, Aluizio was conscious and standing outside of that convenience store.
  • Van Kanegan insisted that Aluizio was high. Aluizio had not said or done anything to support Van Kanegan’s insistence that Aluizio was high.
  • Aluizio told Van Kanegan repeatedly that Aluizio was not high.
  • Van Kanegan continued to insist that Aluizio was high, and became loud, belligerent, insulting, and profane toward Aluizio. Aluizio began to walk away from Van Kanegan.
  • Van Kanegan ordered Aluizio not to leave the area and demanded that Aluizio sit down on a curb.
  • Van Kanegan’s insistence that Aluizio not leave the area constituted a significant limitation on Aluizio’s freedom of movement.
  • Van Kanegan had arrested Aluizio.
  • Van Kanegan advised Aluizio that Van Kanegan intended to administer Narcan on Aluizio.
  • Administering Narcan is an invasive procedure that involves placing an apparatus in the nose of the person who is receiving the Narcan.
  • Narcan is used to revive persons who are unresponsive, and appear to be under the influence of drugs.
  • Aluizio loudly protested Van Kanegan’s statement that Narcan would be used on Aluizio. Aluizio was not under the influence of drugs, and certainly was not unresponsive.
  • Van Kanegan ignored Aluizio’s protests and physically threw Aluizio to the pavement, placed his knee on Aluizio’s chest, and forced the Narcan apparatus into Aluizio’s nose, and administered Narcan to Aluizio.
  • Before forcibly administering the Narcan, Van Kanegan gratuitously slapped Aluizio and said words to the effect “shut up you little bitch.”
  • After Van Kanegan completed forcing the Narcan into Aluizio, Van Kanegan permitted Aluizio to get up off the ground.
  • Aluizio was then placed in a police vehicle and, thereafter, was removed from the scene.

According to the Tribune Chronical, Aluizio pled guilty to obstruction and resisting arrest charges related to the July 7 incident.

Here is a copy of the complaint:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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